Tuesday, September 14, 2010
last friday night, i went to see john mayer in concert in tampa for the sixth time in my life. those of you who know me outside this blog know that john is my favorite artist; he's been a part of my life since i first discovered him in early 2002. i remember purchasing room for squares my freshman year of college, slipping the disc into the cd drive of my cobalt-blue imac, and getting completely absorbed into the music. "back to you" was my favorite song off that album, which was his first full-length -- a follow-up to 1999's inside wants out -- but i couldn't get enough of all of it.
that fall, my dear friend b. and i purchased tickets to john's show in atlanta and made the seven hour road-trip from our sleepy florida college town, playing room for squares almost the whole way there ("why georgia" was particularly appropriate for that trip). it was a rainy night, and our seats were in row w -- we just barely made the cover of the amphitheater. but we were so excited to be there, and the show didn't disappoint: it was the perfect medley of singing, stories, and jamming on the guitar. and it was one of those rare instances when an artist is even better in person than he is on his record. we left the concert half-deaf, half-mute from screaming, and ecstatic, rolling down our windows and belting john mayer songs into the cool fall air.
eight years, three major studio albums, and five more concerts later, i am still just as enamored with john mayer and his music as i was when i first heard him in spring 2002 at the green young age of 18. sure, i realize that he's said some things that were probably best left untold to members of the media (and i think that he realizes it, too, were he to be asked about it). i also realize that his sound is not for everyone. but for me, always and without fail, john's music makes me feel like i'm going to be ok -- whether i'm having a rough day at the office ("i just found out there's no such thing as the real world; just a lie you have to rise above"), trying to figure out a relationship ("so much to do to set my heart right"), or just wondering what it all means ("young and full of running -- tell me, where has that taken me?"). it's that reassurance that you're not alone. john's concert experience is both a collective and singular realization of that, too: standing shoulder-to-shoulder with thousands of fans, you feel like you're part of something bigger than yourself and like you're the only one there. it's magical; it gives you -- or at least, me -- goosebumps.
in reading back over this post, i also realize that i really hope all of you have some artist that makes you feel like that, too. if you do, whether it's john or someone else, will you share him, her, or them with me? i'd love to hear.
p.s. i videoed "edge of desire," my favorite song off battle studies, at the concert on friday. the video doesn't quite do justice to our eight-rows-from-the-freaking-stage!! seats, but the sound is good. if you'd like to watch, click here. (also, sorry -- that screaming at the beginning is my friends and me!)
photo of john by john.